We left the apartment early so as to arrive at the Post Library early. We try to get around 4 hours of service in. We wanted to attend an 1130 farewell luncheon at the Gordon Club for the deputy Chaplain, Chaplain Green, who is leaving soon for a new assignment. This certainly helps us maintain good relationships with the Chaplain corp when we get out to support their events. So, we arrived at the library around 7:50 am and then left for the luncheon around 11:10 am. We arrived at the luncheon in plenty of time, but while there we received a text message from Brother Palmer asking us if we could possibly take him, his mom and sister down to Atlanta. They had been refused to rent a car, for some reason or another and Brother Palmer, still under 25 was not allowed to rent a car. So Elder Gowans called him on the phone and discussed the situation with him and told him that he would make arrangements to do so. He texted President Holm to ask permission to leave the mission boundaries, then sent a text message to Brother Halford, with whom we had an appointment with to let him know that we would have to make a new appointment with he and his wife.
During the luncheon, Sister Slack happened to come, she and her husband have become cherished friends, she sat down with us and informed us that she is about 7 weeks along with her first child. We would guess that she is near 34 years old. Her and her husband have been married 4 years and have finally learned that they will have a baby. So the luncheon turned out to be a wonderful time for us all to rejoice together with this wonderful news.
After the luncheon, we ran a few errands and then headed over to Brother Palmer's graduation. Along with Brother Palmer we also watched two of our other LDS soldiers graduate, Brothers Christensen and Valdez. Neither of these two young men ever came to church. They are two examples of how some of our young people have never learned how to prioritize or to learn to put the most important things first in their lives. They get a little freedom and suddenly they forget their priorities and think that happiness can be found in doing whatever they want to do rather than remembering their covenants. We hope and pray that at some point, sooner rather than later, they will remember.
After graduation, we took our usual photos of the graduates, loaded up the Palmer family, sent Sister Gowans home with the Esteps and then headed to Atlanta. Elder Gowans had no idea how long it would take, but it ended up being about a seven hour adventure. We had a real nice visit on the way down. Brother Palmer talked about his hopes for the future while his mom and sister took a nap. After arriving in Atlanta, near the airport, they got checked in to their hotel and then we went to a little Sports Bar called Joe's of Sullivan. Elder Gowans wanted to find them a place where they could sample some good southern food. They tried fried okra, fried mushrooms, sweet potato fries, hush-puppies and collard greens. We finally finished up a little after nine, and then dropped them off at the hotel and headed home. Elder Gowans finally arrived home a little after midnight and got into bed a little before one.
Here are some photos of the day:
Elders Litwack, Heywood and Sister Estep
The Palmer Family